If you don't know me by now, I throughly enjoy talking about adoption - the good, the bad and the ugly. I just had a wonderful weekend meeting Madison area families to share our stories.
Thanks to Jeff Miller for taking some great pictures of the chat! And thanks to the families of FTKA for the invitation to their Korean Culture Day.
When I was a kid, I didn't have a lot of opportunities to attend these kinds of events and at times, I also had no interest. However, that changed when I turned 14. I started attending Korean heritage camps in Oklahoma and got addicted to meeting other adoptees. You've heard people say this before but I discovered their stories were my stories. I met so many young people who shared my experiences - growing up in rural America, experiencing dating issues and dealing with stereotypes were major topics of discussion.
On this day, I talked about my experiences going to Korea, volunteering with adoptive families, meeting my birth family and living in the same neighborhood as my Korean sister, Hyun Jeong. I tried to keep it short so parents could ask questions. We talked about race, having no interest to lots of interest in adoption or Korea, birth family fiascos, birth mothers, heartaches and joys. I could have talked with everyone for another hour.
Meanwhile the kids were playing games and having fun. We eventually met up in the gym of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Middleton to see a talent show!
Madison is unique because it has so much more diversity and acceptance than your average city. But the need to talk about race, identity and adoption is real everywhere. I've had racist or ignornant encounters every place I've lived and also at every age - even on the job as a TV journalist. So, it's good to keep the conversation going! I'd love to hear your adoption stories if you have one. Hit me here or on social!